On 11 April the National Assembly ratified the draft law 'On behalf of the European Union, of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, of the one part and the Republic of Armenia, of the other part.' Article 42 of the agreement refers to the decommissioning of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant:
'That cooperation shall cover, inter alia, the following areas: taking into account the specificities of the Republic of Armenia and focusing in particular on high levels of nuclear safety, on the basis of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards and standards and practices of the European Union referred to hereinafter, and on high levels of nuclear security, on the basis of international guidance and practices. The cooperation in that area will include:
(i) the exchange of technologies, best practices and training in the fields of safety, security and waste management in order to ensure the safe operation of nuclear power plants;
(ii) the closure and safe decommissioning of Medzamor nuclear power plant and the early adoption of a roadmap or action plan to that effect, taking into consideration the need for its replacement with a new capacity to ensure the energy security of the Republic of Armenia and conditions for sustainable development.
During the discussion on the agreement, RA National Assembly Spokesperson Miqayle Melkumyan addressed a question to Karen Nazaryan, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister having presented this draft law, on the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, 'What kind of obligations we will undertake in terms of the nuclear power plant if we ratify this agreement?'
The cooperation shall, inter alia, include the early adoption of a roadmap or an action for the safe decommissioning of the Metsamor nuclear power plant. That is, here we speak about the early adoption of the roadmap and not its closedown. The grounds of the parties' approach during the negotiations on the agreement is the fact that the only way of withdrawing the guaranteed capacity is to replace it with the same guaranteed capacity. Meanwhile, the replacement of a nuclear power plant with a new unit is not our wish, but, as a matter of fact, the main requirement of the strategic documents of the energetic development in Armenia. Article 42 of the agreement says about the need to replace it with new capacity, as well as about the matters on ensuring conditions for energetic security and sustainable development in Armenia. This is the ground of the Agreement and not the closure of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant after the signing or ratification of the Agreement. There is no such formulation in the Agreement.'
Mikayel Melqumyan responded that it's very important to have this schedule with reasonable timeframes and to takin into consideration the fact and the real opportunity that we can operate a new reactor in this time period and new capacity, which must be guaranteed. That is, not to face such a situation to experience a problem in the last 6-7 years when we should have had a new nuclear power plant, but now we have proceeded to resource prolongation. We must be sure when drawing up this schedule that decommissioning won't happen sooner than the operation of the new reactor.'
16:38 April 13, 2018